Community Grants Program

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Our Community Grants program helps create a community that is resilient, inclusive and thriving.

Our grants support programs, activities, and services that:

  • create opportunities for community participation and social connection
  • celebrate and support the diverse cultures of Hume
  • try new and innovative initiatives
  • increase accessibility and inclusion for all members of the community
  • strengthen community-led groups and volunteering

We seek applications from not-for-profits, community groups and individuals in Hume City that align with Council’s vision and values. You can find other strategies here.  

View the available annual and year round grants and grant recipients.

Helpful Information

All information on the application process is outlined in our guidelines. Printed copies of the guidelines are available on request. You can also watch our information videos.

Using Smartygrants

Applications for all Community Grants are made via SmartyGrants, an online portal.

  • If you are a new user, you will need to set up a login before you begin.
  • If you have previously used SmartyGrants you can use your existing login.
  • You can complete sections of your application in stages, save your progress and return to it later (you don’t need to do it all at once). Your application will be stored online, so there’s no need to save it to your computer.
  • Smartygrants logs you out after 30 minutes of inactivity. Save your work as you go.
  • Allow plenty of time to complete your application to meet the closing date.
  • You need to upload supporting documents. Files must be no greater than 25mb but are best kept under 5mb each.
  • See ‘What documentation do I need’ for information on the documents you need to supply.
  • When you have finished your application click the Submit button. If the Submit button is grey, there is something incomplete or wrong in your answers. Check all sections highlighted red. Once you have submitted you will be sent an email confirmation.
  • If you don’t hit Submit, Council cannot see your application, so it won’t be considered.

You can also refer to the SmartyGrants Applicant Guide for help.

Who can apply?

Applicants must: 

  • Be a Not-for-Profit community group or organisation
  • Be incorporated or apply through an auspice organisation**
  • Run the activity or project from a location within Hume and/or show that it will benefit residents of Hume City
  • Have no outstanding debts with Hume City Council
  • Have satisfactorily acquitted all previous Hume City Council grants

**An incorporated organisation can auspice up to three community groups.

What we fund

  • First Nations People, Country and culture
  • Arts and culture
  • Community health, safety and wellbeing
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Families and children
  • Gambling harm awareness
  • Health promotion
  • Healthy ageing and seniors
  • Learning and skill development
  • Leisure and recreation
  • LGBTIQA+ inclusion
  • Multicultural groups
  • People with disabilities
  • Refugees and newly arrived migrants
  • Social inclusion
  • Sport and exercise
  • Young people (0-24 years)
  • Volunteering

What we won't fund

  • Alcohol licenses, tobacco, gambling related activitiesand activities at gambling venues
  • General fundraising and fundraising events, competitions, trophies, prizes or awards
  • Fixed/permanent equipment, building maintenance or capital improvements (such as heating or cooling systems, shade sails, gardening/landscaping, garden beds, solar panels, portable buildings etc.)
  • Activities that have already started and/or need retrospective funding
  • Shortfalls in funding from other sources
  • Activities, projects, programs and events that are owned, managed or already funded by Hume City Council
  • Personal expenses (i.e. petrol, utility bills, phone bills that aren’t in the group’s name or aren’t incurred by the group)
  • Applications that don’t meet eligibility requirements
  • Applications with incomplete or incorrect information or supporting documents
  • Activities that may compromise Council’s reputation, image, probity or ability to fulfill its functions and responsibilities
  • Applications that do not have Public Liability Insurance, unless you’re a first-time applicant for a Quick Response or Operational grant 

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. You can also watch our information videos for more on our grants, including how to write a strong application, and what happens if you’re successful.

What if my plans change?

If your plans (timing/activities/budget) change from what you said in your application, you must contact us to seek approval. We will then assess your new plans against the original criteria and if approved, you will be given a Variation to your Funding Agreement. If you spend the grant differently than your application/Funding Agreement without approval, Council will ask for all grant monies to be returned.

What does it mean to be incorporated?

When your group is incorporated, it means it has its own legal identity, separate from its members. Activities occur in the group’s name, rather than in the names of individual members.

As an example, if an unincorporated group needs to rent a property or arrange insurance, an individual member would need to sign under their name, placing them at personal financial risk.

An incorporated group can instead do this under the group name, which shares and reduces the risk to individual members.

Your community group may not want to become incorporated, particularly if you only ever handle small amounts of money, and have no need to enter into legal agreements.

For more information on incorporation, refer to the following helpful guides:

Justice Connect: Not-for-profit-Law website: How to decide whether your group should incorporate

Consumer Affairs: Victoria’s guide for clubs and community groups: Should your club incorporate?

What is auspicing?

You can approach a larger organisation to partner with your community group/ organisation to fund a grant. This is helpful if you are otherwise ineligible for the grant (for example if your group is not incorporated)

The ‘auspice organisation’ takes responsibility (legal and financial) of the grant on your group’s behalf. They will sign your grant agreement, receive and distribute grant funds under the grant agreement, ensure activities or events are completed, and submit end of funding reports on your behalf. Your group/organisation will still be known as the ‘grant recipient’.

If you choose to apply for a grant as part of an auspice agreement, you need to provide all their details in your application, and evidence that you have an agreement with them.

Important information on auspice organisations:

  • The auspice organisation you choose must be incorporated and have an ABN.
  • The auspice organisation accepts legal and financial responsibility for the grant and will need to meet all eligibility criteria and provide public liability insurance coverage for the project(s).
  • Grant money will be paid to the auspice organisation, not the applicant.

Does my group need an ABN?

When your group has a turnover of more than $75,000 a year, you may need to have an ABN as you may need to collect and pay GST. It’s a good idea for any incorporated group to register for an ABN. You can read more at the ATO website.

What if my group doesn’t have an ABN?

If your organisation doesn’t have an ABN, you must complete a Statement by Supplier Form and lodge it together with your application.

The form is available on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website.

Why do we need public liability insurance?

Public Liability Insurance (PLI) may be costly, but the risks of not having PLI could cost your group much more. PLI protects your group against the liability to pay damages for a bodily injury, death, or for property damage that occurs as a result of an activity you run. It also covers the legal costs you would face if you had to defend a claim. We only fund groups who manage the risk by having PLI because of the potential costs your group could face if something went wrong and you didn’t have PLI.

Why doesn’t Council’s Public Liability Insurance cover us?

We have our own PLI policy, which covers specific activities and locations. The Community Grants program funds community-led events and activities and therefore is not covered by Council’s PLI.

Can you organise our Public Liability Insurance for us?

No, each group is unique and needs to have it’s own PLI.

We don’t have Public Liability Insurance yet, can we still apply?

To help new groups apply for grants, you are able to apply for our Quick Response and Operational Grant before you have PLI but you will need to get coverage as soon as possible if you are funded.


PLI doesn’t cover everything you may expect it to. You may need separate insurance when required, such as volunteers insurance or building and contents insurance as well as PLI. 

What is an income and expenditure statement?

Whether it’s called an Income and Expenditure Statement or a Profit and Loss report, this is a summary of income and expenses for your group that shows how much money has actually been spent against what type of activity. i.e. $150 on catering for five events, $200 on printing, $300 on advertising, $2,600 on wages. 

You can see an example as part of a Board’s financial report on the Our Community website

What is 'In Kind'? 

In Kind means any contribution you (or others) make for free, that you would otherwise have to pay for. e.g. volunteer hours, free venues, free advertising etc. Including your In Kind amount in your budget shows us the full scale of your activity, and how much you’re contributing.

We are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group/Corporation, can we apply? 

Yes. We encourage applications from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.    


Do you have a question we haven’t covered? Contact the Community Grants Officer on 9205 2749 or

What documentation do I need?

We want you to have the best chance to receive grant funding. You will need to supply the following documentation with your grant application.

  • Certificate of Incorporation or evidence of other legal status. (If your group/organisation is not incorporated, you can apply for a grant through an Auspice Organisation.)
  • ABN details or completed Statement by Supplier form.
  • A Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Certificate of Currency, to cover your group/organisation’s activities. (First time applicants for Quick Response and Operational grants do not have to show PLI at time of applying)
  • Quotes to support your budget, i.e. for equipment hire or purchase, bus hire, advertising & promotion, flyers, posters etc Bank details for your group/organisation (so that you can receive payment)
  • Referees or letters of support for any Project grant

Please note:

In previous years, groups awarded a grant were required to supply Council with a Tax Invoice. This has changed. Council now sends a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) alongside your Letter of Agreement. This means you are not required to send a tax invoice to Council, regardless of whether or not you’re registered for GST.

If you have previously started an application and would like to log back in, follow the link below.

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Community Grants are just one way Council provides support to the community. You can find out about our other programs for residents here or email